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often trapped small animals, Jonathan paused and glanced up

sharply. “What is it with you and Charles babbling about love

constantly?”

“Jenna looks at you differently than either of us.” Anthony

rocked back on his heels, lifting his brows. “And you look at her

like a man who would like to own her, body and soul.”

“Just her body,” Jonathan said shortly. “But I don’t own it

obviously, since I am having to share.”

“Are you telling me if by some damned miracle we were ever

rescued from this Godforsaken place, you could just forget her?”

“It is so bloody unlikely I’m not going to worry about. Now,

shall we talk about making more of those spears? I think the trees

with the odd, spiked leaves work the best. They are much harder to

sharpen, but the wood is tough and rigid.”

Always easily distracted by the mechanics of their defense,

Anthony nodded. “We need several each.”

Relieved to change the subject so easily, Jonathan said,

“Exactly what I was thinking.”

50

Emma Wildes

* * * *

Charles stood very still, poised like an ancient classical statue.

David, perhaps, young and brilliantly brave. Slimmer, but just as

muscular as the two older men, he radiated youth and vital good

humor, his infectious smile always ready. Having proved more

skillful than anyone at being able to catch fish, he waited, a sharp

spear made of wood in his hand, the ocean lapping around his

waist.

Sitting on the beach under the shade of a palm tree, Jenna

watched him, feeling the slight breeze ruffle her hair. Above the

sky was brilliantly blue, a stunning flawless color without a cloud,

and the sea was so clear and clean, touched with frothy white foam

where it caressed the sandy shore. It was a little odd to think she

felt content, but it was true.

“You have been standing there for fifteen minutes at least,” she

called out, teasing him. “Are there no fish in this ocean?”

“It takes infinite patience, Lady Jenna,” he called back, not

moving, concentrating on the water. Suddenly he plunged forward,

coming up triumphantly with a wriggling fish impaled on the stick,

his young face alight as he turned. His light brown hair had been a

little long when they were stranded, but now it curled almost

wildly and his short beard was fine and downy. He was tanned and

athletic, the only one of them that loved to spend time in the ocean,

and he was often hours in the water, fishing and swimming.

Unfailingly cheerful and polite, he was a pleasant companion and a

very attractive young man.

Wading in to shore, he laughingly presented her with his

trophy. “Infinite patience,” he repeated with his charmingly easy

smile. “Like when you are wooing a beautiful woman to the height

of pleasure when she is in your arms.”

Jenna blushed at the open reference to the coming evening,

eyeing the gleaming creature in his hands. “Well done. You may

Savage Shores

51

keep the fish, but thank you.”

“What about the pleasure?” he said, giving her an audacious

wink. “Will you accept that?”

“Charles,” she protested, blushing deeper.

His dark eyes were framed by long lashes that would do justice

to a girl. Setting their evening meal down on a broad leaf, he neatly

wrapped it to keep it cool and went to rinse his hands. Dropping

down with lazy grace in the shade next to her, he shook his head.

“I am joking and have no wish to embarrass you, my lady.

However, you cannot blame me for being anxious and eager.

Never have I wanted nightfall more.”

Pulling up her gown where it had slipped down over shoulder,

she was well aware of his avid gaze. Her chemise now gaped open

all the time, the ribbon disintegrating finally that morning over

being constantly wet and used. “I am flattered you want me.”

“There isn’t a man on this planet that wouldn’t want you.” He

stared at her breasts, all but completely exposed, and swallowed

audibly. The garment was nearly open to her waist and it was all

she could do to keep it from falling off altogether.

He sounded so sincere, she stifled a smile. “An exaggeration,

I’m sure. Tell me, though, I am curious, how long have you been

with his lordship?”

“Five years. Since I was seventeen.” He added on a breath,

“And I do not exaggerate in the least.”

“You two are very familiar with each other…it hardly seems a

normal employer to servant relationship.” Fighting the urge to

uselessly pull the material together, Jenna felt the breeze over

those exposed curves. She had tried to figure out a way to fix the

problem, but with no way to fasten the material together was

resigned to the fact she was more naked than ever. It was just as

well she made the decision she had, for she was beginning to see

why women covered themselves from throat to ankle. Visual

stimuli had an impact on even very nice men, and if she had been

52

Emma Wildes

bare-breasted from the beginning, things might have gotten out of

hand earlier. As it was now, they might as well look, if it pleased

them.

Charles frowned slightly. “We are friends and I admire him

very much, though he would hate to hear it, laughing it off with his

usual cynicism. His childhood was cold, I’m told, his parents

unfeeling and leaving his lordship to nannies and tutors. He

disdains society most of the time because he hates the lifestyle of

wealthy, selfish aristocrats, even though he belongs to their class. I

think he leaves England to avoid his responsibilities as the earl. We

have traveled together everywhere,” he said, lounging on one

elbow, tearing his gaze away finally to look into her eyes. “The

Orient, the southern islands of the Pacific, even places like North

America, where there are savages that can ride their horses

sideways and can shoot an arrow through your eye from a great

distance. This is not the first time we have been in an adverse

situation, but perhaps the first time it seems permanent.”

“Do you really think we will be here…forever?” Her voice

caught a little. She had tried not to think of what might be, but now

after so many days still on the island with no ships in sight…his

words echoed her very fears.

Charles murmured, his dark eyes steady, “I think it is possible

that the four of us will be companions for a long time. Do not

worry, we will take care of you, my lady. And truly, if one must be

trapped somewhere, there are worse places. I admit there are some

predators around, but otherwise the setting is beautiful. We have

plenty of food, and the weather is superb most of the time.” He

smiled then, a gleam of white teeth. “Besides, we will also keep

you entertained. All you have to do is be beautiful, which seems to

be an effortless endeavor for you.” His hand came out, slender

fingers running along her forearm to the curve of her elbow.

“Look, you are growing golden with the kiss of the sun. And your

hair is so gloriously blond and long, streaked with pale strands in

Savage Shores

53

contrast to the deep amber color…it would be unfashionable back

in England for your skin to be anything but pale, but the truth is, it

is very alluring.”

It was true. She knew she was gaining a fine tan despite her

efforts to keep out of the blazing heat. “You are all turning brown

as well,” she told him, slightly lowering her lashes. “Jonathan

looks like Spaniard, so broodingly dark and handsome.”

“Will it trouble you to lie with me, knowing how you feel

about him?”

Charles’s hand still cupped her arm, holding lightly, but not in

any way restraining her. A little disconcerted she had said

something so stupid and revealed her growing attraction to the earl,

Jenna quickly shook her head. “I like you very much. If I can

please you, then that is all I want.”

“Oh, you please me. In fact, I must feel…these.” His hand

drifted higher, along the sensitive skin of her upper arm, then

slipped into the open bodice of her chemise, pushing it off her

shoulder and exposing one breast fully. Inhaling an audible breath,

Charles slid his hand under the weight of the pale mound and lifted

it slightly in his palm.

His hand was still cool from the ocean, his touch light, cupping

her pliant flesh. Jenna sat, letting him begin to stroke her, her

lashes lowered demurely. “It is only afternoon,” she reminded him,

but did not resist in any way.

“So firm and perfect, your skin is like silk, and your breasts not

too large, but full and voluptuous,” he murmured, circling her

nipple gently, his nostrils flaring slightly. “I cannot make love to

you now. I know that. For one thing, both the earl and Reeves

would have my head if I did not guard you properly and I cannot

do that when I am taking my pleasure inside you. Talk about

distractions, I cannot think of a bigger one.” His smile was wry,

but there was heavy arousal in his eyes. “However, my knife and

spear are at hand as we sit here and I can see the whole beach, so

54

Emma Wildes

let me touch you.”

It was enjoyable, she had to admit. Her breasts were very

sensitive she had discovered, and easily responded to his caresses,

which despite his youth, felt deft and practiced. Charles brought

one breast and then other to taut neediness. Her head fell back as

she allowed the possession of his hand, the breeze straying across

her heated face. Out in the open, in full sunlight, she felt a little

wicked, but then again, there was no one to see them, Jonathan and

Anthony having gone into the jungle on some errand.

“Lie back,” Charles told her with a knowing smile. “I can

finish this for you, Jenna.”

“Finish it?” She blinked, only aware of how her body had

become tight, almost ready to beg him to go ahead and take her.

“Make you climax,” he explained huskily. “And I cannot wait

to see it. Lie back and lift your knees, then let them fall apart.”

Heedless of the sand that would get in her hair and all over her

back, she complied without shame. His hand left her breasts and he

pulled the hem of her shift up to bare her from the waist down. She

put her feet on the warm sand, opening herself so he could touch

her wet cleft. Still propped on one elbow, he caressed dampness

and need and she let out a gasp, closing her eyes against the

shimmering sunlight, the only part of her world the ache between

her thighs.

One finger found her opening, sliding in, rubbing the tightness

inside as she clenched against the carnal exploration. It felt

wonderful but wasn’t enough and she lifted her hips in supplicant

request.

“More? My lady is greedy.” Charles laughed lightly and

slipped in another finger, the dual penetration exquisite. He began

to imitate the act of sexual consummation with his hand, pushing

deep inside her vagina with his long fingers, and pulling out again.

The pressure of his thumb on the bud that seemed to seep fluids

with each stroke brought her higher, until Jenna arched in sharp

Savage Shores

55

acute pleasurable release, her hands picking up fistfuls of sand. Her

low cry echoed out over the rippling water. With her passage in

spasms around his invading fingers, she held them inside her as she

trembled with the sheer pleasure of it, the world faded…and then

came slowly back into focus.

His hand still between her legs, his fingers gentle as he lightly

stroked her inner walls, Charles smiled mischievously at her,

looking both supremely male and boyish at the same time.

“Tonight,” he said, a husky note in his voice, “is going to be

delightful.”

* * * *

A few clouds scuttled overhead, but otherwise there was

nothing but stars and the huge, fast moving sea. More alert than

ever, Jonathan waited. They’d had trouble the past two nights with

a beast of some sort, probably the jungle cat from the other

morning. It had discovered the scraps of fish bones and other

discarded bits from their meals, even though they had carefully

buried them to keep scavengers away. Digging up the debris, the

animal had obviously decided the free food to its liking, for it

prowled the vegetation near the hut despite the fire, and he and

Anthony had heard it growling earlier.

A giant snarling cat bursting from the bushes would be

welcome, he thought savagely. It would give him something to do

other than sit and
listen
.

Jonathan sat, his hands loosely grasping his knife, hearing

against his will the low sounds coming from the shelter nearby.

Jenna said something in a breathless whisper and Charles laughed,

the low sound of their voices muted. He could almost see in his

mind their bodies entwined and it made him grind his teeth, even

though he loved Charles like a brother. Picturing his youthful

56

Emma Wildes

masculinity over Jenna’s slender and extremely female body was

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